Trump draws a line with Democrats over the migrant caravan. Will the rest of the GOP step up?

· October 22, 2018  
    Font Size A A A
October 2018 migrant caravan
Pedro Pardo | Getty Images

There are just two weeks left in the midterm campaign season, and President Donald Trump is on a mission to make illegal immigration the defining issue of the campaign. As many as an estimated 10,000 people are migrating from Central America, through Mexico, and toward the United States, and Trump has pledged to “stop the onslaught.”

He’s squarely accused Democrats of refusing to work with Republicans on immigration reform and exacerbating the coming crisis on the southern border.

The president has rightly declared this marching caravan to be a matter of national security. Violent criminal drug cartels take advantage of asylum-seekers, demanding fees to smuggle them across the border and using them to traffic drugs into the United States. The country’s backlogged court system and overcrowded detention facilities ensure that many of the migrants arrested for crossing the border illegally are released into the country and disappear, unless they resurface to commit a crime.

But will the president’s championing of this issue trickle down to Republican campaigns for Congress?

The problem for Republicans echoing Trump’s demands for border security and attacks on the Democrats is that under the leadership of  House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the GOP declined to have a fight on immigration policy before the midterm elections. Republicans refused to attach needed reforms to any of the must-pass spending bills. If they had done that, they would have been able to corner the Democrats on their open-borders radicalism and force them to choose between their unpopular ideology and shutting down the government. The last time Democrats were given that choice, they picked ideology over common sense, and it backfired on them.

Instead, Republicans punted on the issue, voting to fund the government without a fight and kicking the issue past the election. Now McCarthy has introduced a stand-alone bill to fund the wall, but everyone knows that cannot pass. So how are Republicans going to run on immigration reform and border security when voters just watched them surrender on both fronts this year?

If they are allowed to keep the majority, the message needs to be sent from day one after the election that the Republicans will change the way they do business in Washington D.C. How do they do that? Start by defending Trump’s constitutional and statutory authority to repel the migrant caravan attempting to invade the U.S. border. Next, pledge to force a change in House leadership because of Congress’ failure to keep promises to repeal Obamacare, cut spending, secure the border, defund Planned Parenthood, and drain the swamp.

Use the midterm elections as an opportunity to reset Congress, refocus the agenda to accomplish President Trump’s priorities, and prepare to run in 2020 on achievements accomplished because Republicans fought to keep their promises.


Want to keep up with what’s going on in Washington without the liberal media slant, establishment spin, and politician-ese?

Sign up to get CRTV’s Capitol Hill Brief in your inbox every evening! It’s free!

* indicates required


Author: Chris Pandolfo

Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.

Send tips and hate mail to [email protected]